Your skin matters. Not only is it the largest organ of the body, it’s one of the first things people notice about you. Healthy skin tells people that you’re vibrant and full of life. Shrivelled skin says you’re old.
Skin care is big business. Some estimates put skin products at $170 Billion U.S. Dollars each year. Is this justified? Sometimes. There are quality skin-care products, but it’s not necessary to spend exorbitant amounts on skin care if you practice a daily and weekly regimen of nurturing your skin with healthy lifestyle habits.
We know that great skin starts on the inside, with healthy diet, rest, exercise and by not smoking or drinking excessively. That said, the external skin care tips you’ll find in this article will compliment healthy lifestyle habits, with skin that’s truly beautiful and will surely reduce the effects of aging.
For your first skin care tip, it’s important to know if you have dry, normal or oily skin. How can you tell? Oily skin tends to shine, has large pores and is prone to blackheads. Normal skin usually has medium-sized pores, with even complexion and color and might have dry cheeks with an oily t-zone. Dry skin generally feels tight, especially after cleansing, and is prone to fine wrinkling and red patches.
Start your skin-care ritual with daily cleansing. As a rule of thumb, use warm water, but avoid hot, as hot water can reduce the moisture required for soft, healthy skin. Cleanse your face with a circular motion and rinse with lukewarm water. Cleanse every day, with a creamy cleanser if you have dry skin, or a clear cleanser for oily skin. While bar soap is fine from the neck down, don’t cleanse your face with traditional soap.
Then use an exfoliant, preferably a granular product, as they’re good for smoothing rough areas. Exfoliating sheds dead cells from the face and preserves moisture. People with oily skin should exfoliate every day. Those with dry skin should exfoliate once a week and the few with normal skin should exfoliate two to three times a week.
After this, use a toner or astringent to tighten the skin and remove any make up. A toner is a lotion or wash that cleanses the skin and reduces the appearance of pores, most often applied with a damp cotton swab. As an alternative to a toner, try a facial masque, at least once a week. This will unclog pores and leave the skin soft and silky. But don’t use a masque every day.
Finally, PAT yourself dry with a soft towel. Don’t rub, as this can remove moisture from the skin. Then apply two different moisturizers – one for the body and one for the face. These keep the skin soft. Use a water-based moisturizer for oily skin and an oil-based product for dry. Do this immediately after washing, to lock in moisture. In winter, moisturize twice a day.
Sunlight may be integral to healthy bones and well-being, but excessive sun exposure ages and wrinkles the skin like nothing else. Prolonged exposure and burning increases your risk of skin cancer as well. Therefore, it’s important to moderate your time in the sun, and avoid intense heat where possible.
Use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, and higher in hot climates. Avoid the sun between 10AM and 4PM, when possible, as this is when ultraviolet rays are strongest. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before exposure to the sun, and re-apply every two hours, after sweating or being in water.
Wear sun-protective clothing. A tightly woven, long-sleeved shirt, with long pants and a wide-brimmed hat are ideal for blocking the sun’s rays, and even better if they’re light-colored, to reflect the sun’s light. Your clothing should keep you cool and comfortable.
A Final Skin Care Tip
Ultimately, healthy and, yes, young-looking skin is a two-pronged approach. The first is to practice a daily and weekly routine of proper skin cleansing, exfoliating, cleansing, and moisturizing, combined with limited and well-managed exposure to the sun. But it’s just as important to avoid smoking, eat skin-friendly foods and drink plenty of fluids. Good skin care tips include internal and external factors that affect the vitality and health of our skin. With what you’ve read in this article, you’re now equipped with both.